The prosecutor investigating the death of George Floyd toughened the charges against the policeman who suffocated him and decided to also prosecute the other three officers present during the incident, after which a wave of protests broke out that continues to shake the United States on Wednesday.
Five months after the election, images of white cop Derek Chauvin pressing his knee against the neck of Floyd, a black American, for nine minutes, fueled the debate over racism and police brutality.
According to court documents, Officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter last week, will also be prosecuted for manslaughter, a charge that added to the existing ones and carries more severe penalties.
In addition, the prosecutor will charge the other three police officers who were on the scene accusing them of assisting Chauvin, and they will be charged with helping and instigating a murder without premeditation.
Floyd’s family, who had called for harsher penalties and that all police officers present at the time of his death were held accountable, welcomed the decision in a statement released by his lawyer, Ben Crump: “This is an important step towards justice. “
Controversy over crisis management also grew in the United States after Pentagon chief Mark Esper distanced himself from US President Donald Trump and said he disagrees with using the military to stem the massive wave of protests. .
On Monday, Trump threatened to deploy the military to “quickly fix the situation,” but Esper said yesterday that he believes active troops “should only be used as a last resort and only in the most urgent and serious situations.”
“I have always believed and continue to believe that the National Guard is more adequate to provide internal support to civil authorities in these situations,” the Defense Secretary said at a press conference, referring to the contingent of reservists.
Trump, who is seeking reelection in November, maintained his speech on Wednesday and despite criticism, repeated on Twitter his message of “Law and order!”
Meanwhile, street mobilizations reached a dimension not seen since the 1960s during civil rights protests, despite the fact that the United States is the country most hit by the pandemic with more than 106,000 deaths and that the outbreak is still active.
Yesterday, hundreds of people gathered outside the Capitol in Washington after protesters challenged the curfew on Tuesday night, but there were no disorders.
Attacks on the press
More than 100 journalists have been targeted by police or protesters since the protests began in the United States, as a result of a climate of mistrust in the media fueled by President Donald Trump, but also by other less visible factors.
According to the Press Freedom Tracker site, more than 140 journalists have been physically attacked in a week during the protests after the death of George Floyd, the vast majority by the police (118), but also by protesters (25).
This is more than the total recorded in 2018 and 2019, according to the same site’s database.
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